"Be Part of the Future! Not the Past! - Together, Let's Change Rotherham for Good!"

"I stand for Rotherham, I make no apologies for having pride in Rotherham. I will speak up at every opportunity for Rotherham and it's people".
Peter Thirlwall

Friday, 5 February 2010

More Questions for MacShane?

I can now reveal the contents of a letter I have written to Denis MacShane asking him to account for his behaviour to his constituents, something he has always refused to do.
I am still considering the rest of the information now in the public arena, thanks to the Advertiser and their reporters, Phil Turner and Naumaan Farooq.

Rt. Hon. Dr Denis MacShane MP
House of Commons

Dear Dr MacShane,
For some time now you have been prevaricating on the issue of your use of public money. You expect to be re-elected later this year, yet you continue to treat your electorate with contempt. You refuse to answer even the most basic of questions about your expenses.
The standard of accounting for expenditure now expected of our elected representatives is such that those accounts presented by John Healey on his website should be the benchmark of what is expected in terms of minimum disclosure. When do you propose publication of this information?

Scrutiny of all the available online sources providing information on your use of public money has been illuminating and leads inevitably to ask that you clarify the following areas of concern to me and no doubt many of your constituents that you will be asking to return you to parliament at the elections to come.

Firstly a matter of general principle, why have you, at every opportunity, argued and voted against disclosure of the information that is now required? Don't you think your electorate has a right to know how you have spent their money?

Is it true that, amongst other things, you are presently being investigated by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards over the £12,400 you have given your brother, Edmund Matyjazek in the years 2005-8 for translation services?  Please specify the languages translated between and indicate how this was justified as being 'actually and necessary to your work as Rotherhams MP' or was it performed in pursuit of your journalistic activities?

During the period December 2004 and January 2008, covering just 3 financial years, you claimed for a total of 10 computers (mostly portable ones) at a cost of £6654:39. Were they all properly receipted? Why did you need so many? Did you keep losing/breaking them? Where are they now?

There appears much confusion on your designation of your second home for allowance purposes that does not fit well with your Council Tax arrangements, please clarify the position?
I am led to believe that you spend the majority of your time at your London home. If this is correct it means that you are claiming your second home allowance on the wrong property. Could you please clarify this matter and perhaps substantiate this by providing your travel claims? Is it also true that you are being asked to pay back hundreds of pounds that you have over claimed for food?

Confusion also surrounds your arrangements viz a viz your constituency home and your office. It appears for all the world as though you have driven a coach and horses through even the previous rules then in force. Bills that must apply to your Rotherham home have been claimed against your office costs allowances, in contravention of the then rules. You seem to have found a way of financing both your properties at public expense. This type of behaviour is a disgrace that has never been tolerated under any rules applicable since you entered parliament and the Green Book specifically warns against it!   Why have you not yet applied for planning permission for change of use of your garage from domestic to business use? And why are you not therefore paying the proper council tax?

Clarification of your apparently large staffing allowance would be appreciated as there is little discernible evidence of output from all this activity. Do they all work in support of your parliamentary duties or were they expended on your work as a journalist or author?
You are spending extremely large sums on you telecommunications in excess of £700 per month! The public purse really should not bear the burden of your long distance and international calls that are essentially private and that is what your salary is for. If this impression is false then please disclosure is the answer.

I have one last question for you, what precisely do you think your parliamentary salary is for? The rest of us have to pay for a great deal of the things you claim for out of our income, so why don't you?

Yours sincerely,

Peter Thirlwall